Compensation for Psychological Injuries

Mental health problems due to work-related stress and bullying can severely impact workers to the point where they’re unable to cope and perform their job. Fortunately, workers’ compensation is available to help those who suffer psychological injury as a result of workplace stress or bullying.

Are you feeling stressed or depressed at work?

Anyone who works in a job will at some stage experience work-related stress. A certain amount of stress is normal. However, when work stress is excessive or persistent, it can be overwhelming and damaging to mental health. This can lead to psychological injury for which a workers’ compensation claim can be made.

What is psychological work injury?

It is a mental health condition that impairs a worker’s state of mind (their thoughts, feelings, emotions) and can interfere with their normal ability to function and interact with others in the workplace. Psychological issues due to work stress is also known as mental stress.

Common types of mental health conditions that may develop as a result of work-related stress include:

  • post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • chronic fatigue
  • adjustment disorder

Mental health can be adversely affected by exposure to a range of hazards or factors in the workplace, such as:

  • high levels of work pressure
  • little or no support
  • poor workplace relationships
  • little or no role clarity
  • poor organisational change management
  • poor HR systems
  • poor environmental conditions
  • remote or isolated work, and
  • workplace bullying and harassment
  • occupational violence
  • exposure to traumatic events

Claiming for Work-Related Stress

Generally, a claim for mental stress is likely to be accepted when both of the following criteria are met:

  • Evidence that a worker is suffering from a psychological injury.
  • A strong connection between the psychological injury suffered by the worker and their job.

If you're uncertian if ytou are eligible to make a stress related workers' compensation claim call Firths for free confidential expert advice on 1800 631 888

Workers’ compensation payouts for mental stress claims

Payouts for mental stress claims are the largest on average, mainly because these claims involve long absences from work. The benefits included in worker’s compensation payouts depend on the circumstances of the claim. They can include:

  • medical fees to doctors, psychologists or counsellors
  • loss of income
  • rehabilitation costs
  • job retraining costs
  • lump sum payment for any permanent injury or disability

If you are suffering from work-related stress, it's important that you seek help?

Looking after your health, both mental and physical, is crucial so consult with your GP if you haven’t already. They can refer you onto a psychologist or other health professional if necessary.

There are also organisations who provide support and information for stress, anxiety and depression. The following are recommended by Safe Work Australia:

Claiming compensation for psychological injury can be difficult as the injury isn’t visible as with a physical injury. There is also the stigma associated with mental health, which can also make the process more challenging and stressful.

Firths are the experts in workers compensation and our WIRO approved lawyers can assist you through these challenging times. Call Firths on 1800 631 888 for a confidential no-obligation free claim assessment.



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